Are Dietary Guidelines Discouraging Whole Milk Wrong? Researchers Evaluate Health Benefits
Meanwhile, schools struggle to get students to eat healthier food, and lobbying is underway to influence the next round of U.S. dietary recommendations.
The Washington Post's Wonkblog:
For Decades, The Government Steered Millions Away From Whole Milk. Was That Wrong?
U.S. dietary guidelines have long recommended that people steer clear of whole milk, and for decades, Americans have obeyed. Whole milk sales shrunk. It was banned from school lunch programs. Purchases of low-fat dairy climbed. ... Whether this massive shift in eating habits has made anyone healthier is an open question among scientists, however. In fact, some recent evidence indicates that just the opposite might be true: millions might have been better off had they stuck with whole milk. Scientists who tallied diet and health records for several thousand patients over ten years found, for example, that contrary to the government advice, people who consumed more milk fat had lower incidence of heart disease. ... This year, as the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” undergoes one of its periodic updates, the federal bureaucrats writing them must confront what may be the most controversial and weighty question in all of nutrition: does the consumption of so-called saturated fats - the ones characteristic of meat and dairy products - contribute to heart disease? (Whoriskey, 10/6)
The New York Times:
Schools Report Varying Results In Their Efforts To Comply With Nutrition Guidelines
As students lined up for lunch at the Washington Technology Magnet School cafeteria [in St. Paul, Minn.] on a recent late morning, taco pizza was available along with the fresh fruits and vegetables. Angie Gaszak, a school system nutritionist, said the school tries to offer a mix. “We want to make sure they eat healthy, but we also want to serve things that they will eat,” Ms. Gaszak said. It is a balance that is hard to achieve as school systems try to comply with legislation signed in 2010 by President Obama that required schools to update their nutritional standards to cut back on sugar and sodium in foods and add more fruit and vegetables for the 30 million children they serve. (Nixon, 10/6)
The Money Behind The Fight Over Healthy Eating
Updated every five years, the proposed dietary guidelines update for 2015 has been unusually contentious. They urge Americans to consume a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, legumes and nuts and to eat less red and processed meats, sugar and processed foods. They also recommend emphasizing plant-based foods because they are better for the environment– sacrilege to food and agriculture industry groups, which unleashed a lobbying bonanza on the Hill. (Purdy and Bottemiller Evich, 10/6)